Learning to Deal
Once you're done philosophizing, it's time to start negotiating. There's a big difference between knowing what you want and knowing how to get it. So during tomorrow's commute, pop in the audiocassette of Herb Cohen's You Can Negotiate Anything. The two-hour seminar will help you gain the favor of people -- a boss, a client, even a spouse -- from whom you want things. If you can influence others, says Cohen, then you can influence your environment. The price: $16.95. Check it out on the Web (www.herbcohenonline.com).
Making Book on Your Career
To have a prosperous career these days, you may need to rethink what a career looks like. In Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life (Berrett-Koehler, 1995), Richard Leider and David Shapiro reframe the compartmentalized concept of career and integrate it into the larger "journey" of everyday life, choice, and reflection. Wherever you are in your own journey, this thoughtful road map will help keep you on course.
Then again, it takes commitment to stay on the right career path. The answer to making that happen isn't in finding more hours in the day. According to the hot new book by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, it's in the book's title: The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal (Free Press, 2003). The authors offer a kick-in-the-pants playbook on individual performance.
Once you've mastered the new tactics, why not wrestle with your idea of victory? Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning (Beacon Press, 1963) is hardly a classic career book. But Frankl inspires readers to ask big questions. There's a reason that more than 4 million copies of the book are in print. If you know the "why" of your existence, then you can manage almost any "how" -- no matter how bad things get.
Web of Despair
Looking for a laugh, maybe a cry, or at least a few kindred spirits as you struggle to make all the right moves? Then pay a visit to Laid Off Central (www.laidoffcentral.com). Founded a year ago by a couple of friends who lost their jobs, the site is a refuge for job hunters. It combines the emotional dump of group therapy with the make-it-happen outreach of the best networking organizations.
Meanwhile, Laid Off in America (www.laidoffinamerica.blogspot.com) has become a high-profile blog for this low-employment era. Last year, Valerie Sessa, who has a PhD, was laid off. After eight jobless months, she began the blog as a New Year's resolution. She offers an interesting and personal view of someone who, having "rarely failed and never quite so publicly before," must cope with being laid off for the first time. She shares highlights (going to an ouplacement firm), horror stories (registering at the unemployment office), and hard-won advice (learning to overcome shyness in order to network). In April, Sessa, who spent 20 to 30 hours a week looking for a job, took a pay cut and accepted a position as a professor of industrial and organizational psychology. She is scheduled to start this September.
And finally, from one of the best Web sites for executives looking for a job, here's one of the most useful newsletters: the biweekly "Executive Insider" on ExecuNet.com. It's packed with resources, trends, articles, and advice on landing your next gig. Read it online or have a hard copy sent to your home.
A career-management service founded by HR executives in 1998, ExecuNet also publishes another biweekly newsletter, "ExecuNotes," for members only. (Membership fees range from $39 for 30 days to $399 for a year.) A compendium of firsthand knowledge, including gritty profiles of three businesspeople in search of a job, the newsletter is an indispensable tool and a good reason to consider membership to the site.